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Air quality sensors

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mkyte
(@mkyte)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

I am planning to build an air quality sensor using an Arduino Uno or Nano.  I'm considering the following sensor: Adafruit PMSA003I Air Quality Breakout.  Has anyone had experience using this or other air quality sensors, and what other parts will I need to complete this project?  Thanks for any help.


   
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LydaRA
(@lydara)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 96
 

Are you trying to "build an air quality sensor," or to use an existing one (e.g. "Adafruit PMSA003I Air Quality Breakout")--and make the data available via web service or something?

 


   
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mkyte
(@mkyte)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

I'm trying to use the Adafruit PMSA003I as the basis for a "device" from which I can get PM2.5 data.  I found a link on the Adafruit site that shows an OLED featherwing that appears to have a display as part of it.  What I really want to know is: before I purchase the PMSA003I, I want to know what else I need to purchase.  I have an Arduino Uno that I intend to use as part of this.  Thanks in advance for any help.  I'm obviously a newbee here.

 

 


   
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DaveE
(@davee)
Prominent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 714
 

Hi @mkyte,

  I assume you have successfully built a few basic sketches with your Uno, so you have a working development base, and are looking to extend your experience.

-----------

  I haven't bought an air quality sensor, but after reading your question, I had a quick Google and went to https://learn.adafruit.com/pmsa003i/arduino

This shows their device connected to an Arduino with just 4 wires, and a demo program to print the data coming from the sensor on the PC 'Serial monitor' screen.

So to get that far, it appears you basically only need their sensor and a few wires, assuming  you already have an Arduino that you have successfully linked to Arduino development software.

All being well, I guess you should be able to get that far within a couple of hours of the sensor arriving, so 'imagining' you have just done that, try thinking what you want to do next to plan your overall project.

-------------------------

Maybe you are looking for a standalone system, then make a list of things you to add or consider, something like:

  • display
  • controls (Will it need some? What do they do?)
  • a power source .. assuming it will no longer be attached to a PC by USB after programming
  • some sort of enclosure ... are you going to mount it somewhere?
  • an Arduino, if you want to keep your existing Uno for further 'test bench' set ups
  • Will the sensor and display be in the same box? Connecting them remotely will give new challenges, but you might be intending to sample the air in a specific place that is inconvenient for to access for each measurement.
  • Do you need to connect to a network and data storage system to record over a period of time?
  • Do you need to 'pump' the air by the sensor to continually get fresh data (I haven't read the sensor characteristics and recommendations, so this might be nonsense, but is the kind of question you should propose and then find answers to!)

It really depends upon how you visualise what you are trying to build. May I suggest you first decide what you want your final product to look like, then search around for the parts, etc.

If you say pick a particular display that is 'Arduino-compatible', then there are likely to be examples of that display being interfaced, usually with sample code, etc. , albeit probably showing some completely different data and overall application.

Hence, try to build up a picture in your mind of the whole system, by 'mixing and matching' the parts, and so on.

I can't guarantee that it will all work without some effort on your part, or even that you will not hit a small brick wall that will require a bit of redesign, but that is the nature of designing something new.

Good luck and feel free to ask further questions ... as a hint, the more specific the question, the better the chance of an answer that is similarly specific.

Good luck!!


   
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mkyte
(@mkyte)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

@davee

Wow!  Thanks so much for this detailed reply.  I just checked out your link and it has just what I need.  I'll let you know how this plays out!

 


   
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